Toonz Animation India Pvt. Ltd.

Toonz Animation India Pvt. Ltd.
Case Code: BSTR217
Case Length: 20 Pages
Period: 1999-2006
Pub Date: 2006
Teaching Note: Not Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Toonz Animation India Pvt. Ltd.
Industry: Media, Entertainment, and Gaming
Countries: India
Themes: Growth Strategy
Toonz Animation India Pvt. Ltd.
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The Early Years

Even in the late 1990s, the Indian animation industry was in the embryonic stage. Most animation studios were unaware of the cost advantages that India could offer. Toonz, being the pioneer in India, tried to present India to animation studios as a cost-effective country for outsourcing animation work. From its first year of operation (1999), Toonz began organizing a biennial event called "A Week with the Masters". The event brought 'Masters' - distinguished and veteran animators, artists, and film makers - from around the globe to India to screen their films and to talk about their art. They made presentations on their work and spoke about the future of the animation industry. Toonz also invited locally renowned filmmakers, animation directors, artists, animation enthusiasts, and other guests to this event, which also included interactive panel discussions and open forums on various topics relating to the animation industry. It held retrospectives on the masters' works...

Creating Original Content

In the early 2000s, India witnessed an explosive growth in the number of television channels available to viewers. The number of kids' channels - both exclusive cartoon channels and channels which showed animation serials in certain time slots - also increased. Toonz, which till then was working mostly on outsourced work gradually moved towards creating original content to earn higher margins and greater long term revenues. "While it pays today's bills, subcontracting does not provide for a future. Products you develop are yours to promote, expand, and exploit. And by developing your own materials, you also develop the skills of your artists. These enhanced skills help their work on service projects," said Dennis. In 2001, Toonz set out to produce its own animation series. This presented a challenge because it had to evolve from a provider of services to a content creation house, which required developing skills in character design, story development, and storyboarding...

Continuing Good Work

Toonz's client list included some of the biggest names in animation. In 2003, Toonz entered into a major co-production deal with Canada-based Vivatoon (Vivavision's animation division), France-based Toon Factory, and the UK-based Treehouse Productions to partly develop an animation series - Brady's Beasts. This series marked Toonz's major foray into the distribution of a product. While Toonz owned the rights to the series in Asia (including in India), Indigo secured the TV, video, non-theatric, publishing, and licensing rights in the UK, Continental Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. Toonz entered into the co-production deal even though it knew that it would earn very low margins from the project. "We are biting the bullet on this one. We are producing it at less than we would normally. If we break even, I'll be very, very happy, but I think - as far as the cash we're getting from production - we probably won't even do that," said Dennis. Toonz agreed to the deal because it expected that the success of the venture would open up new opportunities for it in future...


Toonz was gradually expanding worldwide and was working on several prestigious contracts. However, the severe shortage of competent animators in India was a constraint to its growth. Part of the problem was that animation professionals were required to possess several characteristics - creativity, a good sense of color, ability to visualize scenes, a talent for acting, patience, etc. - which was difficult to find in one person...

A Leap For Indian Animation

Hanuman, India's first full-length animated movie was released in October 2005. Belying the reservations expressed by many people who felt that the film would only appeal to a limited audience, it went on to become India's first successful animated movie with gross earnings, according to box office estimates, crossing the Rs. 150 million mark. Besides the content, the success of the film was attributed to effective pre-release marketing (promotion and merchandising), and wide distribution by PPC which also produced the movie...


The management of Toonz was optimistic about its prospects. Most global entertainment giants were satisfied with the quality of animation services provided by Indian companies, and were outsourcing many of their projects to India. 3D animation and special effects were also being outsourced to India. Toonz believed that its deal with Marvel, one of the leading production houses in the world, would help it to win larger animation projects. The company also tried to keep up with the latest developments in animation technology. In April 2006, Toonz installed Harmony , a new animation software developed by Toon Boom which was expected to greatly improve the quality of its work...


Exhibit I: The Process Of Creating Animation
Exhibit II: Production Costs In Some Countries (For A 30 Minute Tv Animation Program In 2004)
Exhibit III: Toonz - Major Projects
Exhibit IV: Major Awards Won By Toonz
Exhibit V: A Still From The Adventures Of Tenali Raman
Exhibit VI: Business Models In The Animation Industry
Exhibit VII: Nasscom Recommendations To The Goi With Respect To Indian Animation
Exhibit VIII: Industry Associations Representing The Animation Sector In India
Exhibit IX: 'The Baby Hanuman'
Exhibit X: Top Ten Animated Movies
Exhibit XI: Some Insights Into The Animation Industry In India
Exhibit XII: Major Animation Studios

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